Thursday, July 28, 2011

In which we ride in the SUNSHINE and a nice banquet is provided

Just in case some readers are worried that the Swamplands are drying up (two posts in a row about sunshine????)
...let me assure everyone that it rained buckets on Monday, Tuesday, and part of Wednesday. 
Today, however, we had a terrific view of the Big Yellow Vitamin D Machine in the Sky!


We meandered through the unfamiliar brightness, and I took a bunch of photos of pretty flowers.


But I kept getting distracted by the FOOD!


Ground-vine blackberries (above and below).  The ground-vines are the only blackberries native to this area--the others are invaders, and most of the invaders are classified as "noxious" as well!

Salmonberries (above), so-called because they look like salmon roe (eggs).  Salmonberries are pretty, but also often bitter.  This year they are relatively sweet.  Ripe salmonberries can be red, orange, or yellow, but they all taste the same.

Black-cap berries (below)   Harder to locate, and related to sweet thimbleberries.  Black-caps are soft and lovely, without the big seeds found in other raspberry-esque berries. 

Himalayan blackberry blossoms (below)
Despite the recent months of un-ending rain, the Himalayan blackberry crop looks good for harvest in mid- to late-August.  We'll need about 3 weeks of sunshine to make those berries good enough for us to brave the thorny vines.

Speaking of thorny:
Fiddle thinks thistle flowers are delicious.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In which we see something we haven't seen for a long time, and we smile

I was beginning to doubt whether I'd ever take pictures like these again:

Sure, we ride in all kinds of weather.  But even for a born-and-raised-in-it Swamplander, this year's unending winter-esque rain and clammy temps have gotten old.  

Imagine our delight to have skies like this overhead today:
Top of the clearcut, looking eastward:
Sunshine and good company. 

75 degrees in the sunshine
with a high of 70 degrees in the shade.  90 percent chance of deerflies and intermittent mosquitos.
Visibility: from here to Canada.
but OH! it was so humid. 

All that water in the ground (and on the trees, and in our clothes and deeply embedded in our gear) was trying to evaporate at once.  Bleh. 


Back home at the farm, it's time for a BATH, Fiddle-i-fee.
She tolerates the bathing process but nobody would imagine that she enjoys it.
She gets to graze on the lawn until her coat dries out.  The idea is that she won't waste grazing time on rolling, so maybe she'll stay clean for a little while....
Yeah.  That was a nice theory.